If you’re a Windows OS (Windows XP, Vista, or 7 systems) based computer to DJ like myself (whether it be laptop or desktop PC) you’re going to get flack from your Mac OS X counterparts. Simply put, the Mac OS is much more “tuned” to multimedia than Windows, whereas Windows is more flexible from an application stand point (support more “stuff”).
In other words, because specific parameters are put in place that limits and thus prevents rampant resource abuse of the system in Apple’s Mac OS that are not present in Windows– Windows has more of a potential to “leak” memory and lose performance where the Mac simply hums along without a slowdown.
The simplest way to fix this is to simply reboot your PC before doing a show (or even better yet: Do a full shut down off site then start up on site), but it’s important to keep your system clean nevertheless.
DJ Tech Tools (which is an awesome electronic DJ or eDJ site dedicated to MIDI controllers, mixing/editing/composition software, and general eDJ culture) is running a great article on additional steps you can take to “tune your Windows DJ system” that can be found here:
This includes MixTrain’s (another great web site for the eDJ) awesome Windows Optimization Script:
You should also check out Spy Bot Search and Destroy:
While the utility is great for removing “spyware” and cleaning the system up, it goes deeper than that. In the tools area you can scan your registry for errors and remove those errors.
Also check out CCleaner, which is another great application for cleaning up your application data, tuning Windows, and cleaning up your Registry (the Registry is the closet where Windows stores all its file info, but sometimes stuff gets left in the closet that is no longer needed– these applications clean that closet out and make sure only what you need is in it keeping less in the closet and giving Windows more room to “breath”).
Finally, don’t forget to do your Windows Updates so that you all the latest critical and optional fixes. The optional fixes have lots of sound driver and multimedia application fixes that “help” keep your computer running good with DJ software and controllers.
I’d recommend keeping two PC’s if you afford it– one for your every day work like surfing the Internet and testing out applications. Then have a portable for your DJ software and your “accepted” configuration of applications that is used solely for performance/composition/recording. This will insure you have a “stage ready” rig and experiment properly in a “sand box” that if it gets hosed won’t stop you from playing a gig.
The sand box doesn’t have to be anything amazing. A simple $899 desktop from Dell or HP with a decent 24-bit sound card and high resolution 2D video card will do. Just be sure to get your system memory above 4GB if possible.
Happy DJ’ing boys and girls– keep the mix going!